ACIP Says No to Routine Use of HPV in Boys

human papillomavirus

Despite repeated pleas to make sure that both men and women are protected against cancer, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has said no to routine administering of a Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to boys.

The FDA approved the vaccine, Gardasil, in 2006 for use in girls and young women to help prevent cervical and other cancers as well as precancers which are primarily caused by HPV types 16 and 18. Taking things a step further, the Administration approved the drug for use in males aged 9 to 26, to prevent genital warts. Today, the ACIP seemed to have swayed a little on this stance, due to a published research which questioned the cost-effectiveness of this routine administering of Gardasil on boys.

Gardasil, a vaccine made by Merck, is currently seen as one of the best drugs for protection against cancers. It effectively works against two strains which are together responsible for 70% of cervical cancers. Also, the medicine protects against two strains which are alone held responsible for 90% of genital warts. But all this does come with a heavy price tag. The complete vaccination requires a series of 3 injections, priced at $130 each, thus the cause for ACIP's concern.

ACIP's recommendation on Gardasil is still awaiting approval by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.